The units found in the Archer class are the only ranged units available in Chivalry II. Each of the three subclasses comes packed with a unique equipment set to deal with a variety of situations while catering to numerous play styles.
The class as a whole has 90 Health, 100 Speed, and 50 Stamina: the low health and stamina ratings emphasise the Archer’s weakness in melee combat, so be sure to keep your distance and be aware of flanking enemies.
Each subclass of the Archer uses the Headhunter trait, which means that headshots recharge their special item, making accuracy a key element to boosting your effectiveness on the battlefield.
In this article, we wade through the pros and cons of each of the Archer subclasses to see which is the best in Chivalry II, with them being ranked from worst to best.
Coming in third place is the Skirmisher. This unit is the most versatile of the Archer class – they’re adept at both medium and short-range fighting – but due to lacking a specific, the Skirmisher doesn’t excel in either form of combat.
However, you shouldn’t write off this subclass as a good Skirmisher can be a huge thorn in the enemy’s side. While the other two subclasses specialise in long-range attacks, the Skirmisher is best deployed with hit-and-run tactics, utilising their javelins or throwing axes to strike from mid-to-short range to unsettle the enemy.
The Skirmisher is equipped with either javelins or throwing axes and a light shield for some extra protection due to their low health. Also tucked away in a Skirmisher’s arsenal is a choice of decent one-handed weapons and a bear trap.
They can perform the special attack Leaping Strike, which deals massive damage but also leaves you vulnerable for a time. The Skirmisher’s special item is the Quiver, which refills all of your ammunition, including your primary throwing weapons.
Experienced players who excel in melee combat will be the best suited to getting the most out of the Skirmishers due to the low health of this class. Employing harassment tactics to pick off enemies while evading attacks and placing traps can have an army begging for mercy, so never write off this versatile menace.
In second place of these rankings for the best Archer subclass is the deadly Crossbowman. This unit finds itself in second because of its incredibly slow reload time, during which you must also stand still, leaving yourself vulnerable to charging enemies despite the crossbow having a huge damage output.
The powerful Crossbowman boasts damage bonuses against Knights and Footmen and has a decent selection of one-handed weapons: this selection isn’t as good as that of the Skirmisher, though. The last piece of equipment that they use is the Pavise Shield, which is a large placeable shield that gives you immediate cover.
Instead of a special attack, the Crossbowman uses the Focus trait, enabling them to zoom in on targets while aiming their weapon. In a support role for your comrades, you can also deploy the Banner special item to heal nearby troops over time.
Battlefield positioning and accuracy are essential if you’re looking to master a Crossbowman build. Due to the slow nature of the crossbow, you have to hit your targets with each shot while avoiding flanking troops that are looking to cut you down.
So, the best Archer subclass is the Longbowman, which is the unit available from the start of the game. Giving the Longbowman the edge over the previous subclasses of Archer is its speed and usability.
Primarily armed with a longbow, this unit doesn’t have the damage potential of the crossbow, but makes up for it with the rate of fire and the bonus of not standing still while you reload. To increase the damage and terror that you can inflict on the enemy, you can use the Brazier special item, which ignites your arrows and teammate arrows.
Their selection of secondary weapons is the weakest of the three subclasses. Still, due to the Longbowman being a ranged unit, you should only be using these as a last resort to hold back rushing foes. Even then, you could tactically deploy the Longbowman’s Spike Trap which, if placed correctly, will give you valuable time to adjust and refocus your attention to incoming enemies.
The mixture of the Longbowman’s speed, complimentary special item, and normal item give the subclass the edge over the Crossbowman and Skirmisher in Chivalry II.
Remember, a master archer can be a vital asset to your army, but a bad one can also be a considerable hindrance to the war effort. Accuracy rules this class of units, so be sure to hit your enemies as you block the sun with your arrows.
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